It has taken some serious number crunching and planning, but an Etihad Airways executive is confident he will smash the world record of flying round the world on scheduled flights when he takes off from Shanghai on Sunday.
It has been a long held ambition for Andrew Fisher, who lives in Abu Dhabi, to break the 55-hour record of flying around the globe in the shortest time frame with the fewest number of sectors.
Mr Fisher, who works as the airline’s Vice President Fleet Planning will start his record bid from China, before landing in Auckland, Buenos Aires and Amsterdam and then returning to Shanghai.
Without any delays, and if all goes to plan, he aims to arrive in the Chinese city in the early hours of Tuesday morning, January 23 – and to shave three hours of the existing record.
“It’s about time the job was done,” he said.
“The planning has taken a long time, essentially to ensure the flight timings, routings and transits are kept as tight as possible and there is only a short window of opportunity for this to happen.”
[ Timeframe: swing on the wing of an Etihad plane ]
[ Destination China: visa-free travel from the UAE to these six cities and beyond ]
A self-proclaimed "aviation geek" with a love of studying airline networks and schedules, Mr Fisher is well placed to chart his journey and fulfil a dream he has been keen to attempt for over 20 years.
The first Guinness record was set in 2004 by Michael Quandt from Germany, a travel editor of the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
He flew around the world via six continents on scheduled flights in a time of 66 hours 31 minutes.
His journey started and finished in Singapore and proceeded via Sydney (Australia), Los Angeles (USA), Houston (USA), Caracas (Venezuela), London (UK), Cairo (Egypt) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
That record has since been broken several times, most recently in 2017 by Dubai resident Gil Azevedo who flew around the world in just 55 hours and 47 minutes.
The bank worker undertook his five-flight tour across the world travelling from Shanghai to Auckland, Buenos Aires, Paris and Moscow before returning to Shanghai.
To make the attempt an official record, the rules are strict.
The time must be recorded from when the wheels of the first plane leave the ground at the airport of departure to when the wheels touch the runway at the same airport at the end of the trip.
Only flights which appear in published timetables may be used.
The progress of Andrew’s record-breaking attempt can be followed on Twitter at @AndrewFisherNZ.